““Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.””
(Luke 22:31–33 ESV)
“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”
(Hebrews 12:12–13 ESV)
Every morning they rush in the door and stand in front of the food dishes, waiting to be served.
They do not wait long as I fill up the dishes with cat food, then with cat treats…they may be strays, but they are spoiled strays.
For months, there has been a dish that stayed empty, but remained on the floor.
That was Chester’s dish…
2018 was a year of many losses for me, here and personally.
Long time readers and friends left the blog and some of them left the faith behind as well.
Close friends, a long time companion, and parishioners left in real life.
There is that empty dish on my floor…
There are empty spaces in my soul where all those missing used to dwell.
I won’t even speak of the physical and financial challenges.
I’ve been sifted.
Still, because Jesus prayed for me (and a lot of you have too) my faith hasn’t failed.
It has changed, but it hasn’t failed.
By faith, we move on to next year.
We strengthen ourselves in order that we might strengthen the brethren…because if they haven’t been sifted they will be.
For me, that strengthening starts with filling that empty dish.
By faith, I believe that when I see Chester again (and I will) he’ll need a much larger dish, anyway.
By faith, I believe that because I’m still here God isn’t done with me yet.
There are many other “strays” who need fed…some walk on four legs, some on two.
By faith, I leave the door open and a dish filled for those who have left and those who just need a meal.
By faith, I’ll risk loving those who may leave and in doing so, leave behind more pain and another empty dish.
By faith, I believe that God will keep my own dish full.
Jesus needs to keep praying, because all of that takes more faith than I have.
By faith, I believe He is and will continue to do so.
By faith, I know he’s praying for you too…
So, from Miss Kitty, my strays here at home, and myself, I wish you all a faith filled new year and the peace of God throughout whatever it brings.
Thank you all for your support and presence on the journey.
For the last time in 2018…
Make your own application…
Praying for God’s blessing on you and yours in this coming year…
Thank you…my fellow feeder of the brethren!
Just to let you know, I have not gone anywhere. I just don’t have much to say. It’s been a strange year and I have just been silent.
The sense of loss is cumulative. The loss of wellbeing wraps around us like a python. I pray that we have a much better new year! I hope we can overcome the objections to our lives.
Well said…the sense of loss is indeed cumulative.
Praying that the new year brings new joy for you and yours…
Reading this post with a picture is floating around in my head of thousands of redeemed souls walking around heaven or wherever God assigns, with their own collection from the animal kingdom. … It is a pleasant concept. . horse, don’t step on the cat .. ? thank you for the smile….
Praying that, as your days, so shall your strength be, Michael
That’s a blessed picture, Em…and one that comforts me.
Thank you for being here…
It is interesting that Jesus says He would pray that our FAITH would not fail…. Not our health, wealth, family, marriage, career, theology, etc, but our FAITH. 1 Peter ch 1 calls our faith Precious…. like we call babies precious or diamonds and gold ‘precious’…. Our Faith…. that confidence in the Unseen…. and His attributes….
Amen. Life is hard. God is good. Never confuse the two….
My meditation this year has been Hebrews 2:1 “we must pay much closer heed to the things we have heard, LEST WE DRIFT”….
Blessed and beautiful new year Michael and cats…
To you as well my dear Paige…
Well said, Michael. I feel your pain.
Thank you, Judy…I know you do….
May Micheal and his little fur tribe be blessed this coming year.
May the Lord grant you, Michael, a leaf that does not wither.
Dude, Jean…blessings to you as well…
Great post. Not knowing what to wish/pray for you in 2019 other than that we many know Him
New Year’s blessings
Thanks, pstrmike…to you as well…
Sigh…still reading Ravenhill. He talks about pastors who suffer great loss, though persist because of the their faith in Christ and their love of the Church. It sounds like you’ve had that kind of year, Michael, but I know our Lord has taken account and has you in the palm of his hand.
During a few of the political conversations here this year, I’ve been rude and unkind to you. It was uncalled for, and you don’t need any grief from me.
I’m very sorry.
You’re one of the finest persons that I’ve been blessed to know here.
I probably deserved whatever I got and I hold no offense at all.
I’m just glad you’re still here after all these years…
Michael, may our gracious Lord strengthen you to continue feeding the long-time family members and the strays, feline and human, throughout the next year.
Love you, bro.
I’m praying for you. The loss of people/loved ones, from death, rejection and the like is one of the hardest things we deal with in life.
I’m sorry 2018 has kept me away largely.
Keep going. Especially in life and the faith.
Don’t let offense harm your heart.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank you, CK, and JTK…blessings to you both and thanks for being part of this community…
Hey big brother! May the Lord have mercy on you in the new year, may your cup overflow. May your health be strong as your faith. may your finance and friends be great. all of us at PP love you and pray for you often. may God hear our prayers and your heart. May you be blessed beyond measure. You are a good man Michael and I hate seeing your heart break all the time. may this new year bring you great things.
God bless, you, my friend…and may He bring you great things this year as well.
This place is a place for strays in the faith. Strays can be difficult and ornery, for different reasons. Christianity is a mix of discouragement and hope for me. I still have a lot to wrestle with. Thank you for being a big part of that this last year. All the best to you Michael.
Thank you, JoelG…we’ll continue to wrestle together…